11/9/10 - The Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL-Pro) kicks off its third season this Friday with six new teams and and an influx of talent.
The Louisville Lightning host the Cincinnati Kings on Friday as last year’s top two Eastern Division teams lock horns again. Louisville has added Boyzzz Khumalo from DC United and Othaniel Yanez from the Columbus Crew. The Kings counter by bringing back Kwame Sarkodie from the Colorado Rapids and Kenney Bertz from the Rochester Rhinos.
What’s new in the PASL-Pro is the Tacoma Stars, Revolucion Tijuana, and the Frontier Division which includes the Kitsap Pumas, Wenatchee Fire, Illinois Piasa, and Springfield Demize.
Six teams return including the Lightning, Kings (who played last year as 1790 Cincinnati Express), defending champion San Diego Sockers, California Cougars, Detroit Waza, and Ohio Vortex. The Kings have moved into the spacious Cincinnati Gardens and the Cougars and Vortex are back full-time at Stockton Arena and Canton Civic Center, respectively, after playing at multiple venues last year.
The PASL-Pro now has 12 teams and will play an interlocking schedule with the three team Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League for the third straight year.
Saturday’s opening weekend festivities include the return of professional arena soccer to Tacoma for the first time since 1992. Stars player/coach Greg Howes returns to pro soccer as well for the first time since a brief stint with the Cougars in 2008/09. Howes won three MVP awards with the Milwaukee Wave in the MISL when he was widely considered the best player in the sport. Kicking off the festivities for Tacoma will be American Idol icon Sanjaya Malakar singing the national anthem.
"We have seen a sharp rise in media coverage and interest from potential owners," said PASL-Pro Commissioner Kevin Milliken. "We are achieving growth that our sport hasn’t seen in many years, while keeping our teams’ financial risk to an absolute minimum."